Grade 12 students doing last minute revision before their CBSE Accountancy exam at Indian High School in Dubai. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: The CBSE Class 12 physics paper, already one of the hardest subjects, was unusually tough this year, Indian students in the UAE and elsewhere have complained.

Tuesday’s physics paper was “very lengthy”, included “very indirect questions”, and bore “no resemblance to the previous year’s papers”, according to students signing the ‘Lenient correction for Physics Board Exam 2019’ petition on www.avaaz.org.

Aslaf Ahmad, a UAE-based Class 12 student who took the physics paper, said “the paper was very tough and did not follow previous years’ questions”. By Wednesday afternoon, over 1,100 people had signed the petition.

Dr Ashok Kumar, CEO of The Indian High School (IHS) in Dubai, said: “There were a few minor deviations observed by the HoDs of Physics with reference to a few questions. That feedback has been sent to CBSE … Overall, students are happy about the exams.”

The CBSE gets feedback on question papers within 24 hours of the completion of the exam from the principals and superintendents of exam centres through an online exam management system.

Grade 12 students doing last minute revision before their CBSE Accountancy exam. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

An estimated 14,000 to 16,000 students in the Emirates are taking the exams this year, joining around 3.1 million pupils in India and elsewhere.

CBSE, or Central Board of Secondary Exams, is India’s biggest education board, and there are around 65 CBSE-affiliated schools in the UAE.

An estimated 9,600 students in the UAE are sitting Class 10 exams, while approximately 6,600 are taking Class 12 exams.

At IHS, there are 1,164 students of Class 10 and 12 from GEMS Our Own English High School and JSS Private School writing the exams.

“So far, all the exams went on well with the students … Students with special needs are provided with all the approved facilities in the exam centre. Medical team is on alert and working on all the exam days,” said Dr Kumar.

Students don’t sit the exams in their own school; they take the papers at another school that serves as an exam centre. In Sharjah, these centres are Sharjah Indian School, Our Own English High School (OOEHS) — Boys, OOEHS — Girls, and Delhi Private School Sharjah. In Dubai, IHS is appointed as the “Hub” and contact point for all 16 exam centres in the Dubai and northern emirates.

There were a few minor deviations observed by the HoDs of Physics with reference to a few questions. That feedback has been sent to CBSE …

- Dr Ashok Kumar, CEO of Indian High School

“Students and staff observers stated that the arrangements and comfort level offered by the Indian High School as outstanding in their daily report,” Dr Kumar said.

No administrative or technical problems were reported by UAE schools as thousands of students started sitting main subject papers of CBSE board exams for Class 10 and 12 this week.

Rafia Zafar Ali, principal of Leaders Private School in Sharjah, who is also one of the CBSE counsellors this year, told Gulf News on Wednesday that students “have no complaints” so far.

“Today [Wednesday], they were saying the Accountacy paper was a little lengthy. But the feedback is positive. Everything is going smoothly, thanks to the cooperation of parents and schools,” Ali said.

Students look at the seating plan before their exam. An estimated 9,600 students in the UAE are sitting for Class 10 exams. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

At Leaders, 93 students are sitting Class 10 exams and 47 students are sitting Class 12 exams this year.

Mohammad Ali, Principal, Gulf Indian High School (GIHS) in Dubai, said: “I can say with confidence that the whole examination process is running very smoothly at international standards with the advanced use of technology. With the introduction of CBSE app, all the relevant matters are updated to the board on time through it with utmost precision. Students and officials have expressed their full contentment over the new procedure. Students have also conveyed their happiness about the examinations that have been completed.”

From GIHS, 119 students are siting Class 10 exams and 92 students are sitting Class 12 exams. GIHS is an exam centre receiving students from four other CBSE schools.

Deepika Thapar Singh, CEO — Principal, Credence High School, Dubai, said exams were going smoothly and advised students to take the papers in their stride.

“Students should not fear the CBSE exam; they should take it as another external assessment. At the same time, parents should not pressurise their children, and create any kind of stress. For those students who are appearing the 10th and 12th grade exams, it is important to eat well, drink plenty of water and sleep sufficiently. Students must reach the examination centre at least half an hour before to avoid any kind of stress due to any unforeseen traffic situations. Give your best, and not worry about the result or the future,” Singh said.

Grade 12 students settle down just before their CBSE Accountancy exam. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

The CBSE board exams for Class 10 and 12 are widely regarded as the most important school exams in India and CBSE-affiliated schools outside India, including in the UAE.

Results of Class 10 exams determine which “stream” students will chose in Class 11 and 12 — science, arts, or commerce. Meanwhile, results of the school-leaving Class 12 exams weigh heavily of students’ university admission prospects.

Early results

This year, Class 12 exam results could be announced a week earlier, by the first week of May, according to Indian media reports.

Since the CBSE advanced the exams by 15 days this year, the CBSE will be able to finish marking the papers ahead of time and announce the results a week earlier than usual.

All grade 12 science exams will be completed by March 18, so the early release of results will allow pupils to appear for JEE, IIT and the NEET higher education exams in India.

The Maths paper for Class 10 begins on Thursday as the first main subject paper.

CBSE board exams for 2019 began on February 16 for vocational courses and skill-oriented subjects, which were completed before the end of February. Exams for core subjects started on March 2 for Class 12 with English.